Windows NT 4.0 Known Bugs and Limitations.

This page provides a list of known bugs and issues which remain unresolved on Windows NT 4.0 (Workstation and Server). Not all these issues may be evident on any particular machine. Some problems only surface with a particular combination of hardware and / or software or an extremely specific sequence of events.

Presently, no solutions have been found to these problems, and they just have to be accepted and 'worked around' or tolerated.

The information is presented in two tables. The first is problems that Microsoft have not officially acknowledged. Most of these have been found by third parties including myself. If any knowledgebase articles are relevant, in explaining the circumstances under which the bug surfaces, a reference is included as a 'clickable' link in the 'Explanations' or 'Solutions' column.

The second table presents bugs that are officially recognised by Microsoft, along with a 'clickable' link to the knowledgebase article that introduces the circumstances and mitigating factors that have been found. Most of these knowledgebase articles conclude with the comment: "We are researching this problem", which roughly translates to:

Some of these bugs have also been carried forward through the Windows development cycle and are STILL apparent in the latest releases of Windows !

Colour coding is used to signify the level of danger the bug represents as follows:

PinkSERIOUS - Data loss or system malfunction is probable.
Light BlueMinor - Annoying or inconvenient, but no risk to data or system.
Light GreenFixable - by changing user action or setting.
BuffTrivial - Of no consequence, may not be noticed by many users.

Bugs Found by Third Parties:

(Total Bug Count = 11)

ModuleExplanationSolution / CommentsReported By
Cmd.exeCommand History Vulnerability.
Pressing F7 repeatedly (to access command history) during the execution of a command (eg: Dir or Ping) will cause a Kernel STOP (0xC000021A - Fatal System Error) when the command console window is closed.
None KnownSiffredi Dani
(S.C.S.I. Pass Through Interface)
S.C.S.I. Pass Through Interface Generates STOP Errors.
Attempting to access drive hardware through S.P.T.I. may result in a Kernel STOP (0x0A - IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL) Error. (usually a failure in hal.dll)
Use A.S.P.I. (Advanced S.C.S.I. Programming Interface) instead.
See Windows NT 4.0 and Optical Media for further details.
The symptoms of this failure are similar to those described in Knowledgebase Article 174232 but are unrelated.
Calvin Melen
Scsiport.sysPCI/PCIe Bus Enumeration Bug.
A serious bug in Scsiport.sys can result in incorrect or incomplete detection of storage controllers on some hardware.
See Scsiport.sys PCI/PCIe Bus Enumeration Bug in Windows NT at Bear Windows for further details.Bear Windows
Eventvwr.exeDuplicate Events Displayed.
When you first open Event Viewer, the most recent events in the System log may be displayed twice with the same content.
If you select another log (eg: Security or Application) then return to the System log, the number and content of the entries is then correct.Calvin Melen
Explorer.exeInaccessible Floppy Drive if Format Cancelled.
If formatting of a floppy disk is initiated then cancelled prior to completion, the floppy disk drive may become inaccessable with an 'access denied' error.
None Known. (A System Reboot restores normal behaviour)Calvin Melen
Explorer.exeRemovable Media Volume Labels Not Displayed.
Running Explorer as two separate processes as described in Knowledgebase Article 156366 results in Explorer failing to display the volume labels of removable media (eg: CD-ROM) in the 'My Computer' window.
Run Explorer as a Single Process (OS Default)Calvin Melen
Explorer.exeUser Profile Incorrectly / Incompletely Loaded.
Elements of the 'default' user profile may appear instead of the logged on user. Symptoms may include failure to display user selected wallpaper (the default winnt256.bmp being displayed instead) and / or an incorrect sound scheme.
This appears to be a timing related issue - allow the system to 'settle' before logging on. (This usually takes around 20 seconds after the logon prompt is presented.) An exact sequence to cause this intermittent failure has yet to be determined. If the profile appears to be incorrect at system startup, log off and log back on, then the user profile will be correctly loaded.Calvin Melen
Explorer.exe'My Computer' Window Preferences.
'My Computer' window fails to 'remember' user preferences such as Sort order, Display options and Window sizes.
Change only 1 preference at a time, then close the explorer window immediately. (Does not always work)Calvin Melen
Explorer.exe'My Computer' Window Icon.
The small icon displayed in the top left of the 'My Computer' window title bar intermittently changes to a 'wrong' icon. (randomly grabbed from some other executable file) The behaviour of Explorer described in Knowledgebase Article 235630 may also be relevant.
Resets to normal on system reboot. (It is believed this effect occurs because of corruption of the ShellIconCache file)
(Knowledgebase Articles 132668 and 133733 also provide further relevant information)
Calvin Melen
Explorer.exeDesktop Shortcut Icons Randomly 'Refresh'.
Shortcut Icons are erased and then 'redrawn' on some occasions during normal operation of the OS.
In addition, if you have files selected in an Explorer Window when this 'redraw' occurs, the selection will be cancelled. In some instances (with just the right timing) if you open your 'Send To' menu just as the 'redraw' occurs, the 'Send To' menu may be blank.
None Known.
Microsoft blame this effect on Matrox video drivers in Knowledgebase Article 254790, but this effect has been observed on other brands of video hardware, so their explanation is not credible.
Calvin Melen
Explorer.exeCopy / Move Time Estimates in Error.
When you copy or move a file, or series of files, to a 'slow' device (eg: removable media drive) the time estimates presented on the 'Copying' or 'Moving' dialogue may be in error, or may not be displayed at all. Additionally, the progress bar may not be displayed in some instances.
None Known.Calvin Melen

Bugs Acknowledged by Microsoft:

(Total Bug Count = 170)

101635Explorer and File Manager Cannot Enumerate Path Longer Than 260 Characters
104074Err Msg: Incorrect Function... When Accessing a CD-ROM
110255Performance Drops During Large File Copy
119743Error Attempting to Delete Groups With Member Groups Present
120363Slow Performance on NTFS with Long Filenames
120829XCOPY May Generate Incorrect Error Level
120942Command Line Does Not Update Print Manager
125933STOP 0x0000007B: Inaccessible Boot Device After Removing CD-ROM
126310Error Attempting to Paste Into Clipbook Viewer
126464Repair Disk Utility Does Not Update SAM and Security Hives
127027Windows NT Printing Err Msg: The Requested Resource is in Use
130680Service, Protocol and Adapter Lists Can Appear Blank in NCPA
130794Emergency Repair Process May Fail "Beyond Repair"
130828Program Manager Window Moves Upward on Screen
130973Windows Media Player Does Not Support Tab Control
131470PRINT.EXE Command Fails on Eleventh Try From Batch File
131717Network Address Requires Trailing Zeros in NETWORKS File
132660Invalid Characters Allowed When Creating File Association
134854Windows NT LPR Does Not Support Job Removal
134992MODE Command: "Printer Output is Not Being Rerouted"
135593Bottom Portion of CD Player is Inaccessible
135604DIR /O:N /S Does Not Sort Directory Names in Alphanumeric Order
137474Cannot Create Partition Greater than 1GB During NT Setup
137513User Manager Cannot Rename a Group
139104FTP Session Lost Shelling Out Using "!" and CTRL+C Commands
139453NET TIME Does Not Report Correct Remote Time in Windows NT
140551NetDDE Requires Username/Password When Connecting to WinNT
141018Rearranging Icons While Renaming File Renames Wrong File
141187User Must and Cannot Change Password
141190Disk Administrator Stops When Zip Drive is Present (Applies all Removable Media Drives)
141588Services Not Closed Properly During Forced Shutdown
141831System Locks Up When Accessing Floppy Drive
142049File Manager Displays Incorrect Users With File Open
142059Err Msg: "Could Not Set Printer" if Port Name Includes Comma
145600Creating Mirror Fails With Insufficient Disk Space
146332Display Driver May Not Reset Refresh Rate During Setup
147224Shared Icon Does Not Appear in Windows NT Explorer After Sharing a Folder with a Long Filename
147859ErrMsg: NET PRINT May Cause Internal Error
148425Duplexed Mirror Generation Fails With Insufficient Space
149131Windows NT FTP Client Creates 0-Byte File
149305PCMCIA Network Cards May Fail to Start During NT Installation
149741Using Upper Case Letters in Find Tab in Help Does Not Work
149876Print Preview Command in WordPad Truncates Words
150520WINS Server Sporadically Loses Name Resolution
151388Setup Prompts for CD-ROM When Installing to Removable Drive
152721Low on Registry Quota Error Gives Wrong Steps for Resolution
154027Print Manager Hangs if Printer Description Has Multiple Commas
154029Adding Microphone, Volume Control, Option Button Properties
154538WinNT 4.0 Upgrade CD Will Not Upgrade WinNT 4.0 Installation
154639Printer Icon Not Updated After Changing Port Type
154733Error Accessing Boot Sector File \\BOOTSS
154777Document Not Printed and No Error Message Received
155157Error Changing Password at Logon With Dial-Up Networking
155180Granting RAS Dialin Permissions to a Group of Users
155395Multiple Instances of Control Panel Tool Started
155396FreeCell Help Opens Extra Windows
155558Deleting Clipbook Page Causes Overwrite of Clipboard Contents
155572REM Does Not Prevent Parsing of FOR Statement in Batch File
155580Second PC-Card Hard Disk on Fourth IDE Channel Not Configured
155736CD Player Seems to Hang With Multiple-CD Changer
155926Media Player Does Not Recognise Multiple CD-ROM Drives
155941Phonebook Entry is Not Updated After Changing Modem
156065Shortcut Key Launches Multiple Instances of Program
156214Unclear Error Message Printing From Windows NT Diagnostics
156258Command Prompt Does Not Recognise End-of-File Character
156601Computer Pauses at Blue Startup Screen for 30 to 45 Seconds
156677Logoff Screen Saver Does Not Function in Windows NT
156802Windows NT Mode Command Does Not Have Retry Parameter
157173Ntbackup.exe Generates Error Using 4-Character Description
157301Shutdown of 16-bit Named Pipe Client Causes GPF in Netapi.dll
157330Windows NT 4.0 PostScript Driver Prints Only Last Page
157485Taskbar Leaves Trail on Programs with Auto Hide Enabled
157742WOW Applications Calling KillTimer() API May Leak Memory
157895No Context Menu for Clock.exe on Taskbar
158155SAS Window: Winlogon.exe Error
158458Frequent Browsing Causes Explorer Settings to Revert
158824Using Quotation Marks With Set Path= Statement Fails
158950Auto Detection of Identical Network Adapters Finds Only One
159217RESKIT: RshSvc Leaks Process Handles
159580WordPad Does Not Show Printer Fonts
160783Error Message: Users Cannot Log On to a Workstation
160792"Snap to Default" Mouse Feature Not Working
160861Printers May Produce Garbled Output After a Print Job Is Deleted
161710MPS Install Removes Default Windows NT Administrative Shares
161801Chkdsk Reports an Erroneous Event ID 41
162186SCSISCAN Does Not Detect Multiple Scanners
162705Incorrect Colors Printed on HP Laserjet Color 5
162768Cannot Access Data Disk in CD Drive When CD Player is Running
162779Control Panel Fails to Stop an Already Stopped Service
162790Auto Arrange Activates Itself in Copied User Profiles
164115Play Button Unavailable When CD is Reinserted in CD-ROM Drive
164262Windows Explorer Refresh Changes Current Selection
164487Briefcase May Take a Long Time to Update
164629Error Message: Default Printer Cannot Be Set
165124Australian Time Zones End Daylight Saving Time on Wrong Date
165126Cannot Delete File Using Windows NT Explorer
165763Windows NT Does Not Recognize a Space in a Registry Value
165774Windows NT Does Not Detect Serial IntelliPoint Mouse
166000Landscape Orientation Not Available for Generic/Text Only Driver
166159Delay in NETBIOS Connections From a Multihomed Computer
166320Cannot Remove File Association in File Types Dialog Box
166526NT Explorer Clears Archive Attribute after Perms Change
166791Windows Explorer Error: Unable to Copy Disk on This Drive
167001Winmsd.exe May Show Invalid Drive Statistics in Reports
167046Add Printer Wizard May Hang After Adding a Port
167208Sound Schemes Do Not Migrate to Other Users
168461Customising Your Network Neighborhood Help Topic Does Not Exist
169147Briefcase Error "DLLCanUnloadNow"
169226Path of Nested Desktop Folder Not Displayed Correctly
169234Cannot Set Separator in Regional Settings Tool to Null
169561Unable to View Subdirectory if Parent Directory has NO ACCESS
169620Err Msg: Accessing CD-ROM Drive: D:\ Is Not Accessible
170657Paste From Command Missing in Embedded Paint Object
170669Creating C:\Program Folder Causes Add/Remove Program to Fail
171643Winlogon Hangs at Log On Screen
171651Running a Batch or Command File From Windows NT Explorer Fails
171857Long File Name Lost After Using Send To Command With WordPad
172311Mouse Problems After Switching to Left-Handed Mouse Setup
172452Windows NT Stops Responding or Delays During Shutdown Process
172509Explorer Erroneously Generates Event 560 - Write Failures
172773Problems Using LS120 Floppy Disk Drive With Windows NT Setup
172774Copy Command at Command Prompt Does Not Prompt to Overwrite File
173062Permissions Not Copied in Scopy.exe
174504Detection of IntelliPoint Mouse on Serial Adapter Fails
17453216-bit Application Cannot Select a Network Drive
175234Setup USAGE Popup While Installing OEM Device Driver
175477Batch Files Run From Within Other Folders May Fail
176210Incorrect Time Is Displayed When You Run the Net Time Command
176966System Policy Editor May Not Disable Slow Link Detection
177444Windows NT Explorer May Not Indicate Status of Shared Folders
178283Cannot Browse CD That Has Both Audio and Video
179147Access Denied Error Starting Program When Directory Named Program Exists
179617Explorer Hangs with Multiple File Operations in a Single Folder
179813Underlining Shifted to the Left When Printing From Applications
180498Icons Disappear from Taskbar After Ending Explorer.exe
180709Code in Main Thread Still Executes After Issuing CTRL+C Command
181334Dragging Scrap to WordPad Title Bar Displays Random Characters
183097Event Log May Not Grow to Configured Size
184465"Take Ownership" Assigns Ownership to the Wrong User
186146Double-Clicking .reg File Will Not Add Extended ANSI Values
192822START Priority Class Arguments Ignored for WOW Applications
195052\Program Breaks Applications Installed Under "C:\Program Files"
196448Print Screen Fails When Pasting Into Paint
198524Large Ntbootdd.sys File May Cause Problems
214770Information is Not Updated When Consecutively Viewing Two Similar CD-ROMs
216789BUG: NTBackup Cannot Back Up Individual Files From a Batch File or by Using a Command Prompt
220963Object Is Not Displayed in the Multimedia Tool in Control Panel
232227SMS: Inaccurate Installation Date Is Reported in the Inventory
238821Player Stops Responding When Context Menu Open While Playing Files With Script Commands
240718Previous Operating System Disabled by Setup and is Not Listed on Boot Menu Afterwards
242114Custom Toolbar Settings Are Not Saved in File Manager
243501Task Manager Does Not Display the Peak Memory Usage Column
245206Error Occurs When Trying to Delete a Partition From a Broken Mirror
246026Cannot Delete or Repair Corrupted File on NTFS Volume
247408Error Message or Spooler Hangs When You Pause or Resume Print Job
248249Copying Files to LS-120 Floppy Disk Causes Error Message
248294Invalid Font File Can Cause Error Message on Blue Screen
249874"NBTSTAT -A" Command Does Not Resolve Computer Name With DNS
250982User Cannot Be Given the Right to Load or Unload Device Drivers
254914Virtual Device Driver Message in 16-Bit MS-DOS Subsystem
260525"License Violation" Error Message is Displayed When You Enable Registry Auditing
263324The Create Shortcut Command Truncates the Source Path Folder Names to Eight Characters
274698URL Within .asx File is Limited to 260 Characters
283378You Must Hold Down the Power Button to Shut Down Windows NT 4.0 in a Dual-Boot Environment With Windows XP
297268Data Fragmentation Occurs When You Use Ntbackup.exe to Restore Data to a Clean Volume
299671Convert.exe Tool Causes Desktop Shortcuts to Prompt for the Administrator Password
324553CAPS LOCK Key State in MS-DOS Programs May Be Incorrect
329095Computer May Hang if the Maximum Log File Size is Set Incorrectly
817435Memory Leak in FSrt Occurs When a Program Makes a Call to the CreateFile Function
822061Getsockopt() Function Returns a Different Maximum UDP Message Size Than You Expect in Windows 2000 SP3
(Affects NT 4.0 SP6a as well - see note below)

Note on Knowledgebase Article 822061 from Bear Windows:
If you attempt to send a UDP Datagram of with a length greater than 65507 bytes, the socket will freeze and you will no longer be able to send or receive UDP messages.


Thanks to Bear Windows and Siffredi Dani for additions and corrections on this page.

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Last Update April 7, 2010 at 9:10 PMAEST.